A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Wellington vs. Paihia for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Wellington or Paihia?

Should I visit Wellington or Paihia? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Wellington

Wellington is the capital and second largest city in New Zealand. It sits on the southwestern edge of the North Island between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. It's a beautiful setting that is encircled by mountains giving it a beautiful backdrop. There are also many cultural sights and attractions around town. Wellington really is the perfect mix of New Zealand's natural beauty and a vibrant urban core. The film industry is also prevelant in the city. The city's production centers have helped create Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit trilogies, Avatar, Tin Tin, and District 9.

Paihia

Paihia is a town on the North Island of New Zealand in the Bay of Islands region. It is about a three hours north of Auckland by car. For those visiting the Bay of Islands, it is the main town in the area and is located near the town of Russell and Kerikeri. There is a wharf in town where most ships depart from if you are planning on going out to explore the Bay of Islands. Paihia is a very small town with a population of about 1800 people. There is a fair climate all year round with temperatures ranging from sixty to seventy degrees Fahrenheit.

Which city is cheaper, Paihia or Wellington?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Wellington is $86, while the average daily cost in Paihia is $65. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Wellington and Paihia in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $98 in Wellington For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Paihia, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Paihia, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Wellington $49
    Paihia $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Wellington $98
    Paihia $60

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Wellington than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $10 on transportation in Wellington on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Paihia than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $10 on transportation in Paihia on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Wellington $10
    Paihia $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Wellington

Also for Wellington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Departure Transfer: Wellington Central City Centre Hotels to Wellington Airport: $13
  • Arrival Transfer: Wellington Airport to Central Wellington City Centre Hotels: $13

Is it cheaper to fly into Wellington or Paihia?

Prices for flights to both Paihia and Wellington change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food

Wellington food costs typically run travelers around $26 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

Paihia food costs typically run travelers around $23 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Wellington $26
    Paihia $23
Typical Food prices in Wellington

For Wellington, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner
    $9.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Wellington

For Wellington, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Walking Food Tour Of Wellington: $148
  • Martinborough Wine and Food Tour with Lunch from Wellington: $203
  • Local Delicacies Half-Day Food Tour: $204
  • A Taste Of Wellington Food Tour (half Day): $227
  • Full Day Wellington Food Tour: $264
  • Full Day Wellington Food Tour: $295

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paihia

For Paihia, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Bay of Islands 3-Hours Sailing & Gourmet Dinner Burger Buffet: $74
  • 3 Hour Bay of Islands Sailing Cruise with Gourmet Dinner: $89

Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Wellington, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $14 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Paihia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $30 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Wellington $14
    Paihia $30

Tours and Activities in Wellington

For Wellington, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 10 day - South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,370
  • 2 Hour Comfort Cruiser Bike Hire: $22
  • 3-Day Wellington to Auckland Tour: $666
  • 30 Mins Lamborghini Supercar Experience: $133
  • 30-Minute Romantic Helicopter Tour from Wellington: $682
  • 4-Day Wellington to Auckland via Rotorua Tour: $814
  • 7 Day - South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,029
  • Bay of Many Coves Helicopter Tour with 3-Course Lunch from Wellington: $622
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 10 people: $996
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 2 people: $319
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 4 people: $515
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 6 people: $719

Tours and Activities in Paihia

For Paihia, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 6 Hour Cruise with Island stop over- Gourmet lunch cooked aboard: $113
  • 90 Mile Beach Bike Tour: $170
  • Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike, Swim, Paddleboard, Wildlife: $84
  • Bay of Islands Day Wildlife Cruise: $110
  • Bay of Islands Half-Day Private Tour: $152
  • Bay of Islands Highlights Tour - With Glow Worm Caves: $137
  • Bay of Islands Waterfall Cruise Kayak or Paddle board: $50
  • Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour: $198
  • Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over: $92
  • Bay of Islands: Late Afternoon Sailing Cruise: $46
  • Cape Reinga - 90 Mile Beach Tour: $104
  • Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour from Bay of Islands: $119

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Wellington spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Paihia spend on average $19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Wellington $11
    Paihia $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Wellington

Also in Wellington, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wellington All-Inclusive Half-Day Brewery Tour: $92
  • Wellington Craft Brewery Half-Day Guided Tour with Tastings: $94
  • Wellington Craft Brewery Half Day Tour: $95
  • Craft Beer Tours NZ Half Day Brewery Experience: $102
  • Craft Beer Tours NZ Full Day Brewery Experience: $133
  • Martinborough Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch from Wellington: $189
  • Martinborough Wine Tour: $369

Sample the Local Flavors in Paihia

Also in Paihia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bay of Islands Craft Beer & Wine Tour: $93
  • Private Wine Tour in a Mustang or 4x4: $148
  • Private Shore Excursion: Bay of Islands Tour with Wine Tasting: $236
  • Private Tour: Bay of Islands Tour with Wine Tasting: $236


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Wellington and Paihia, we can see that Wellington is more expensive. And not only is Paihia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Paihia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Paihia and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Wellington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Wellington than you might in Paihia.

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Wellington vs. Paihia Travel Comparison

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